Survey: New-Employee Orientation Programs Plentiful, But Lack “Wow” Factor

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (May 1, 2007) – According to a recent survey, most companies don’t spend a lot of time orienting new recruits, and their top strategy for “wowing” them is to hand out items branded with the company logo. The survey, conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp – formerly HRI), also found that although the vast majority of companies have new-employee orientation (NEO) programs, more than one-fifth of them don’t bother to track their effectiveness.

“Considering the current and future war on talent, a new employee’s first days are critical when it comes to creating a positive first impression that fosters loyalty,” says Jay Jamrog, i4cp’s SVP of Research. “Companies are also missing the boat to not only impress a new employee, but also to build upon the strengths and weaknesses of the employee, which were undoubtedly collected in the selection and assessment process. The future of talent management systems promises to record the competencies uncovered in the selection process, allowing for the early application of learning programs in cases where skill gaps have been uncovered. This is definitely something organizations should keep in mind when planning their NEO programs.”

The survey found that a full 86% of the responding companies have a program in place to orient new employees. For about half (46%), the process is done in a day or less, with another 26% wrapping the orientation up in two to three days. As far as offering new employees a “wow” factor, more than half ( 54%) rely on company-related items (pens, shirts, pads, binders, folders, etc.), and 12% admit to doing nothing at all.

“Getting a new t-shirt is nice, but it seems like there are probably better ways of making an impact on new recruits,” says Jamrog. “The company should use the opportunity to have new employees communicate and build relationships with leaders in the organization right out of the gate. NEOs also offer a unique opportunity to gather a new recruit’s impressions of the marketplace and the company.”

In other survey findings, when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of their orientation program, 47% of respondents use employee surveys, 20% measure first-year retention and 17% look at performance ratings. Somewhat surprisingly, 22% of polled companies do not track the effectiveness of their NEO programs.

Most companies (81%) turn to the human resources department to administer the NEO programs, but 23% involve multiple departments and 21% include the department to which the new employee will report.

The New Employee Orientation Practitioner Consensus Survey was conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp – formerly HRI), in conjunction with, in April 2007 and included responses from 597 organizations.

For more information about this study, or to receive a full copy of the results, please contact Greg Pernula at or via phone at (727) 345-2226.

About i4cp, inc.

Building on the 35-year history of its predecessor, the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp, inc.) improves corporate productivity through a combination of research, community, tools and technology focused on the management of human capital. With more than 100 leading organizations as members, including many of the best-known companies in the world, i4cp draws upon one of the industry’s largest and most experienced research teams and executives-in-residence to produce more than 10,000 pages annually of rapid, reliable and respected research and analysis surrounding all facets of the management of people in organizations. Additionally, i4cp identifies and analyzes the upcoming major issues and future trends that are expected to influence workforce productivity and provides member clients with tools and technology to execute leading-edge strategies and “next practices” on these issues and trends. i4cp is a for-profit company with offices in St. Petersburg, FL.